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tv   BBC Newsnight  WHUT  June 19, 2011 8:00am-8:30am EDT

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>> "this is bbc news night." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank.
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>> union bank has put its global range of companies. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc news tonight -- news night." >> this week, china and russia blocked attempts at a security council to discuss syria. what swayed as the west now has? -- what soleil does the west now have? >> this is partly because of iraq, partly because we are seeing has withdrawn from afghanistan. >> bill gates donates billion dollars towards a vaccinating some of the porsche children on earth. -- some of the poorest children on earth the scheme is to change economic order. in the meantime, let's not let
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the millions of children died. -- die. >> there was more reports of refugees fleeing president assad's troops and syria. britain and france tried to table the resolution to sensor the regime but china and russia opposed the move. in libya, nato troops continue their bombing campaign but still no breakthrough by rebel forces. what exactly can the west achieve in the arab world? >> six months of middle east turmoil has undermined many old certainties. among them, that the u.s. can effectively police the region or keep its clients and power. has the cost of intervention growth rate for western countries? britain has its own historical perspective on the way to
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influence. britain has long grown used to the npt of a faded world power and it has relied on others through alliances, in particular, the u.s., to enhance the influence around the world. these days, pretty much everyone in the western family of nations is in recession and cutting back. the decline in their influence in the middle east, economically, diplomatically, or militarily, seems to be palpable. in the security council, they were meant to vote on a u.k. french resolution on syria. russia and china made clear that they would veto it. diplomatic action has failed to come and not the least because other countries are often skeptical but the u.s. and europe has the answers. >> i think what we are seeing is that the west a longer has the moral high ground in the way it perhaps it did.
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that is partly because of iraq, partly because we are seeing to withdraw from afghanistan. above all, it goes back to israel and palestine. we cannot really preach to the arab world. we cannot be seen to have the moral force that we need while we are failing to address the problem of palestine. >> while europeans blame america for failing to deal with those issues, the u.s. is often outspoken in reply. last week, the outgoing u.s. defence secretary blasted up for not pulling its weight in nato. >> future u.s. political leaders, those for whom the cold war was not the fault of experience that it was for me, may not consider the return on america's investment in nato with the cost. what i have sketched out is the real possibility for a dim if not dismal future for the trans- atlantic alliance.
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such a future as possible but this is not inevitable. >> 10 yearsgo, the u.s. accounted for less than half of nato's defense spending. now, it pays for 75%. that is a function of plunging european budget. the nato secretary-general in london today are due to that europe should raise its gay and keep the alliance relevant. >> nato is more needed and wanted than ever. i share secretary gates concerns about the declining defense budgets in a number of allied countries. if we are to accomplish our mission in the future, we will need a proper investments. >> take away the u.s. and nato capabilities to not look that impressive. italy, for example, will have 130 modern jet fighters, where as the uae has 142.
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the royal saudi air force with 250 modern combat air force, is similar in size to the raf. the libyan example is held up as an example of future action. >> is that really a strength of our alliance to demonstrate that the europeans can also take the lead? we have been used in the past to having the u.s. in all major military operations. in libya, we see european allies and canada and partners in the region providing the majority of the assets. thats a clear demonstration of solidarity. >> given what you have said about falling u.s. defense budgets, the concern is that you
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expressed, is it clear that the non u.s. side of nato can increasingly take on the role? >> this is only feasible if the europeans to step up to the plate and increase investments. >> with thousands of refugees now in neighboring turkey, but the turkish and iranian governments are becoming increasingly vocal about that crisis with iran supporting the assad regime and turkey critical. just answer itself appears to have been emboldened by the lack of effective western policy, so have the neighbors become more assertive. >> we have seen certainly with iran, i don't think iran is driving offense but there certainly exploited them. turkey is pursuing a vigorous foreign policy across the middle east.
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it is not mean that we will -- it does not mean that we'll succeed. it will require an imaginative leadership of a very high order from the united states. this is much more about being the top dogs, this is about doing practicing and engaging foreign-policy. >> the fate of the be undecided is little appetite for further military action. the failure of the syrian the resolution and the difficulty agreeing on western views on the most desirable outcomes for the of spring shows how hard has become too discern any positive western action. >> bill gates gave away a billion dollars this week to halt vaccinate children and the world's poorest countries from preventable diseases. can plan to be really change the world?
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-- can philanthropy really change the world? the poor and the sick are still with us. we spoke to bill gates along with the ceo of glaxo smithkline, the former health minister of rwanda, and also some of these men's critics. >> list talk about what you are trying to do, bill gates. aid agencies have been at this, governments have been added, what can you do as a philanthropist that they cannot do? >> agencies have had great results. 20 million children under the age of five died back in 1960, now is under 9 million. we can improve this by getting the latest vaccines and getting them out to the poor kids. that will save millions of additional lives. courts why do want to spend your money and that way? >> -- a >> y the want to spend your
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money that way? -- why do you want to spend your money that way? >> i want to get rid of the inequity. vaccines allow that to happen. >> why is this our problem? >> it is the world problem. every day, -- there has been an lot of success. immunization rates are up. infant mortality rates are down. less children are dying. this is because of the intervention of an alliance. it is amazing what has happened. we have access to more vaccines. this is against diarrhea, pneumonia, also cervical cancer.
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countries in africa that were unable to vaccinate the children against pneumonia are now able to do so. >> you were quoted as saying that the drug companies have not been responsible citizens in the past but there is a change of heart. in what way were they irresponsible citizens? >> during the a.d.'s and 90's, as the industry was growing and form itself into what it became, people were not focused on this agenda and i think that was wrong. of the last seven or 8 years, you have seen a tremendous shift done with the industry is. as you see the alliance come into play, the industry has come alongside that very forcefully. >> why? >> they recognize it is in our interests. >> this is public relations, isn't it? >> not all. people expect to see pharmaceutical interests these -- and pharmaceutical industries
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contribute to society. within the organization, the majority of that work for us, the single biggest reason they say they work for us is the contribution for human health. those are the drivers that make us look for ways in which we can contribute. >> not everyone agrees with the global alliance's aims and methods. doctors without borders believes that can be done better. we spoke to them about access to medicine. what do you worry about here? >> what i worry about is although we really appreciate the involvement of glaxo's smithkline, we have to be honest. because of a relationship that we feel a little bit too close between the gates foundation and donors and the companies, we feel like we are paying too
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much. $225 million subsidies are going towards blacks as smithkline and pfizer. i would like to ask mr. gates, why do you do it that way? we were told that a group was blocked by patents. if they had some help, they would already have their vaccine on the market. >> when i give money away, i bring a strong business sense to make sure it is well spent. when we created the group that helps to purchase the vaccines, we research what is the cost to build a factory, with the increased cost. it was not the capacity to serve the poor world. by getting people together to make the commitment, it allowed companies, including glaxo smithkline, to spend a lot of money. this is medicine at work. we're saving millions of lives.
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>> we totally agree with the mission. we vaccinate 10 million children a year. we're with you there. we believe the more vaccines, the better. we're talking about how the money is used. the scheme with the subsidy was created to stimulate development when there were not vaccines. i don't think it makes sense to use this scheme in this particular case because it has been developed for rich countries. >> a couple of points that you raise. the first is that in terms of intellectual property or patents in in the way, there are no material patents. in terms of the incentive, it is quite interesting. the first -- vaccine was launched at about 99. there was a limit the production capacity. i think the -- foundation
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identified this as a major opportunity in the developing world and they aimed to stimulate activity. what this incentive is is that the first few years the vaccine is on the market, we achieve a price of about $7 per dose. that is very -- that will very substantially. >> people and the west are paying more so that people who are poor will pay less? >> i make no apology for that. we are very up front about the price. if you're rich, you should pay the most, people in the middle, -- absolutely. >> some lives of more valuable than others? >> no but it doesn't -- it is not reasonable people in poor countries to contribute to the growth of the company. >> the point is to make sure that access is achieved. that needs to be researched. i was directly involved in the process with the -- board and i
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resigned because you loaned five mckinsey consultants to the committee. how can the mckinsey consultants help us look prices when they consult with companies like mr. we's? >> what these things cost, we have spent the money to understand that. yes, this is very smart people. i have gone in and spent time on these things. these prices are coming down because we want to save more lives. >> why don't your governments by these drug storax us by these drugs direct? >> because they are too expensive. your why don't government's purchase these drugs directly? >> because they are too
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expensive. people pay relatively more for their health than the poorest. what they're doing is absolutely right. it makes it available to the port. it makes the government able to deliver this. this is the right thing to do. >> a second critic is from the world development movement. they believe that much of this work is not get at the real underlying problems in the world today. what is your anxiety? >> you cannot disagree with that city millions of children. the issue that we have is a bit of a distraction. this kind of top down business- led philanthropic solutions distract from the big picture and that is this -- it is good to be vaccinated against preventable diseases but if you send a family back out and they don't have land on which to farm because it has been grabbed by big corporations or they can
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feed their families because of speculation on food prices, because they' spending any% of their income on everyday foodstuffs and to educate their children, all of these things will be part of the loss. the reason those bigger issues are not dealt with this because you can look at progressive taxation to be far more important, dealing with global monopolies. >> this is about the children and of the mothers of those children. we take the technology that every rich child takes for granted and it makes it it seems that the scheme to change the economic world order, that is all well and could put in the meantime, let's not make
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the children died. >> public health and public interests are sidelined over these solutions. in the instance of vaccination, they favor big pharma. in the interest of one year of looking at another development, we're looking at solutions that favor big agribusiness rather than small-scale farm production. >> there's no favoritism. there is a bid price. the lowest prices comment. the cannot contract public vaccines. they are at the center of public health and all of history. that is why we're down for 20 million dying a year. >> governments were accountable to their citizens. they wind power, they lose power by the judgments they make. who are you accountable to when you make of these interventions? >> well, anyone who buys a product, you were taking your
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success in choosing what -- you are expressing your values. my values are that all the wealth i have should go back to society and it should help to -- help the very poorest. vaccinations rose to the top of the list as a way to change their lives. the kids who live, if they don't get sick, their brains fully develop and they can achieve their potential. this is a pretty clear when -- clear win. vaccines are being researched and that is a great thing. >> the think that western philanthropists are making judgment on your behalf? >> no, they are not making judgments on behalf of the developing world. developing world countries are
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financing these vaccines. the health budgets are up, this is at 15%. other comments are coming up. the must invest in roads, agriculture, and security and governments are doing just that. our people must be a live. >> finally, a journalist and a former speechwriter for david cameron. does the 8 actually work? does it help those who are in need? >> i do agree with mr. gates that vaccinations are probably the best use of aid. i have a fundamental issue with the problem of aid. countries getting half of their income from aid and not going to have a need to respond to the needs of the people there.
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when you put money into health services, health declines. british aid it directly funded and be a council which banned independent newspapers. i think all of these self- appointed saviors are a problem and that is why we keep hearing western voices which are always the voices for aid. the image of africa is being destroyed by aid and that is why people see it assessed went. >> do you worry about who is driving this whole aid enterprise? >> the politically elected governments are by far the biggest donors here. politicians like david cameron,
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they make a choice based on what they think the policy should be and the voters will eventually get away and dislike and many other countries. >> what about the question of helping to support and repressive regimes. >> it is quite a stretch to say they support oppressive regimes. >> that is very different from the things that you're doing. when we decide to save children in the country, we don't go and look everything the government has done and say that they're not a very nice government. we're willing to fund vaccinations for all the children of the world, independent of what is calling on with that government. >> you are from rwanda? >> yes.
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first of all, not true that the government sends hit squads all of the world. on the one hand, british government. on the other hand, the genes. the discourse of some people, look at africa and the developing world as if we don't have universal values. of course, there is a repressive regime in that country. >> if your government, the entire edifice of your country is supported by western aid, there is less incumbency on you to read yourself accountable to your citizens. >> absolutely. it is not correct that the government should be supported entirely by the western world. the belief is that we should use
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aid -- it is the quality of the aid. first of all, it must come in to find a country designed and run program. the more you do that, the better. the capability must be put where it belongs, on the shoulders of the leaders of the countries. if they cannot, then they will have to answer for it. >> you are entirely comfortable with the way this whole thing operates? >> i share bill's opinion. >> you never are concerned about the dependency culture? >> i would probably shed some of the questions. i think it is really important when you talk about 8 in a very big a sense. when you focus on vaccines, next to washing your hands, this the biggest health-care intervention in history. when you go to villages that
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have just received the first solar powered bridge, and people have been vaccinated against basic illnesses and diseases which are killing us children all the time. this is so difficult to walk away from that and say we should not be trying to do this. question and finished with you, bill gates? everyone in the world -- >> can i just finish with you, bill gates? everyone in the world knows who you are. we hope that this initiative is what you are remembered for? >> i don't care to be remembered at all. i do care that we can get that number of children who died down to 7 million, 5 million, 3 million. today was a big day, pledging to buy these vaccines. we are now partnered with gsk on a malaria vaccine with luck will be able to start delivering that.
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the advances in technology should not just before the richest. in fact, they should help the poor. that is why i am excited about the career of the eye of god. >> thank you. >> that is all for this week. -- that is why i'm excited about the career that i have got. >> thank you. >> that is all for this week. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. the newman's n foundadation. the john d. and catherine t. -- and union bank. >> union bank has put its
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global expertise to work for a wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> bbc newsnight was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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